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Friday Funnies: Columnist caught begging on daily’s front page

An award-winning columnist has welcomed what he termed a “clear career opportunity” – after inadvertently appearing as a beggar on the front page of a regional daily.

A mock-up of Birmingham Mail writer Mike Lockley graced the front cover of its Trinity Miror sister title the Liverpool Echo after the paper reported on plans to clamp down on anti-social behaviour in the city by showing beggars football-style yellow and red cards.

To illustrate the piece, it appears the Echo delved into TM’s picture archive and accidentally used a picture featuring Mike’s head photoshopped on to the body of a beggar.

Mike says he is “still laughing” about the front page, which was published on 18 July.

Lockley Echo

He told HTFP: “After it appeared, a reader from leafy Shrewsbury made contact to say I’d be welcome in the town’s shopping centre, although residents’ prefer a performance from their beggars. She asked if I played the harmonica.

“Also, a warm thank you to a ‘Mrs Timmins’ who pressed the ‘price of a cuppa’ in my palm.

“The Echo has highlighted a clear career opportunity and for that I thank them. I’ve invested in a pair of fingerless gloves and a Staffordshire bull terrier and may well be appearing in a shopping precinct near you in the near future.

“These things happen. They’ve certainly happened to me.”